Preparing for Brexit

Kingston Council believes diversity is one of the boroughs greatest strengths and wants to protect the rights of all its residents, including EU citizens. We are committed to supporting the community, residents and businesses in Kingston when the UK leaves the EU.

EU Citizens

The UK government has reached an agreement with the EU that will protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK.

If you’re a European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen, you and your family are able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue to live, work and study in the UK. You do not need to apply if you have indefinite leave to remain or enter, or you are an Irish citizen, but you can if you want to.  The application is free of charge and you have until the 30 June 2021 to apply. 

Gaining settled or pre-settled status will ensure your right to live in the UK and will allow you and your family to continue to be eligible for:

  • Public services, such as healthcare and schools
  • Public funds and pensions
  • British citizenship, if you want to apply and meet the requirements.

To apply you need access to an android device or laptop.  The online application checks three things, your identity, UK residence and criminality.  To verify your identity, you will be referred to an app to scan your documents, however for those that cannot use or have access to the app, you can go to an identity scanning location or post them to the Home Office (address will be given during the application process.

Kingston is one of the local authorities offering EU, EEA and Swiss citizens free advice and support to complete the identity verification part of the process.

You can get support applying to the EU Settlement Scheme if you’re a vulnerable citizen and can find a list of organisations here.

You can also get help in person or over the phone if you do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to complete the online application form. Contact Assisted Digital by calling 03333 445 675

For EEA and Swiss citizens, and their close family members,  moving to the UK after 31 December 2020, you will be able to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain which will be a new scheme launched after exit.

Businesses

The UK Government and the European Parliament  have agreed the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU on the 31 January 2020.  The UK is now in a transition period until 31 December 2020, while additional arrangements are being negotiated.

Businesses can take some actions now to prepare for the UK’s exit from the EU and this toolkit can help you find out what you can do to prepare.

Some of the key things you need to know:

  • If your business trades with the make sure you have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number starting with GB.
  • If you import or export goods or services to the EU make sure you check the custom arrangements, documentation and tax/duties.
  • What you need to do is different if you move goods from Northern Ireland to Ireland, or if you import goods or transport goods into the UK.

For further information about the potential impact on businesses, what support is available and proposals for how Brexit should be approached from a business perspective see:

The Mayor of London has launched nine new London Growth Hub Centres to support small businesses as they prepare for Brexit. The centres will offer face-to-face advice and resources.

Travelling to Europe from 1 January 2021

Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will change from 1 January 2021. Things you may need to do before you go include:

  • check your passport
  • get travel insurance that covers your healthcare
  • check you have the right driving documents
  • organise pet travel - contact your vet at least 4 months before you go
  • There are more things to do if you’re travelling for business. For example, going to meetings and conferences, providing services (even with a charity), and touring art or music.

For further information about travel to the EU after the 1 January 2021 visit https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021

Further information